Built hundreds of website and helped countless schools realise their potential online. Ian should be called upon for straight-talking advice and to make a difference to the way you present your school through every outlet.
How do you write the very best class blogs? One that effectively conveys the fantastic things going on in your class? And how to do you ensure it doesn't become a hateful task? In this article we'll look through the most important things to remember when you're managing blogs for your class. The most important thing to remember is who your class blogs are for ...
Everything you do online should be based around who you're writing for. So before you do anything else, decide who your audience is. Most likely, you'll be writing your class blog to keep parents up to date with what's going on in school. If they're your primary audience, remember them in everything you post.
They're looking to see updates on what their children are up to in school, so meet that need. The added bonus is that if you're sharing posts that are related to your curriculum you'll naturally be sharing information that provides a rich picture of life in school with Ofsted inspectors. Bonus!
Dad always said that you should mow the lawn regularly. That way it never gets too overwhelming a task and it's easier to manage. The same is true of anything school website related. Keep on top of your class blogs. The best thing is that, if they're set up correctly, a blog will always show the most recent post at the top. So, all you need to do is share something interesting once or twice a week and you've cracked it. Get into good habits.
If your blog is aimed at parents then information that is helpful, interesting and exciting for them will keep them coming back for more! Because they largely want to hear about what is going on in class (especially about their own child!) then give them what they want.
While your blog is not the primary source of information for parents, there's no reason not to use your class blogs to keep parents up to date with important information. Actually, you can go much further than that!
Let's say you're preparing for a Christmas Nativity. Parents will be excited to show up and see what you've been preparing. The odd teaser post here and there will only help engage parents during the run up to the event itself.
You have wonderful things going on in school day to day. You also have your own way of sharing that information with the wider community. Don't let any fear of how you write or the quality of content you put other there hold you back. Simply tell the stories of what's going on in class, share the exciting bits and encourage parents to engage with you through your class blogs . It's a great way to enhance the way you communicate with and engage your parents.
There's lots of software available online to manage your school website and of course your class blogs. Lots of schools are still using Wordpress as a standalone package to manage their blogs. The trouble is, many thing that's the best or only option. A very good School Website Software package will include a full blog that is a natural part of your school website.
If your school website and your class blogs are running together you have some great options available to you. For example, you can create class pages that have related blog posts displayed directly in the page. It's a fantastic way to encourage your website visitors to dive deeper into your website content. It also creates a richer and richer picture of life in school, no matter where users are on your website.
It's also worth a little note to say that there are big arguments for why we don't recommend Wordpress for schools, you can read them here: https://www.schudio.com/product/why-we-dont-recommend-wordpress-for-schools/
This is going to sound really obvious but if you write a blog post and nobody knows it's there, you might as well not bother. Absolutely, tell your parents that your blog is alive and well and it's a great place to find out about what the children are up to. But you have a very powerful option available to you as well. Share your content via the social media channels your school is already using and more people will look at the page. If you're struggling with using social media in school then have a ready of this post for some top tips: Social Media and Your School Website.
There's also a fab feature in the Schudio School Website Software that enables schools to share News, Events and of course, Blog Posts directly within the software when you publish content. Simply write your content, save and share. You can find out more about this exciting feature here: http://support.schudio.com/article/127-social-sharing
Your blog is a fantastic tool and is nothing to be afraid of. Put some thought into how you plan to use your website and your class blogs and use that as a starting point. Think through who you're aiming things at and keep that in mind whenever you post. Most of all, just share the amazing things that the students are up to as often as you can and you've cracked it!
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